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Fishing the North Coast, August 18 Rockfish bite hot, halibut slows off Eureka; Klamath River action heats up


By Kenny Priest

After a summer full of wind and rough seas, the ocean along the North Coast turned into a lake over the weekend, allowing boats of all shapes and sizes to hit the open seas. And what they found was plenty of fish to go around. The tuna hunters, who’ve been chomping at the bit for a couple months, were able to run offshore to where the warm water lies. Boats out of Fort Bragg and Shelter Cove found a good albacore bite 30 to 40 miles west, while the Crescent City fleet found the albies 45 to 60 miles straight out on Monday and Tuesday. Boats that made the run south to the Cape were greeted by loads of hungry rockfish, as well as a few halibut.


Eric Banko of Cutten holds a 33 lb Chinook salmon he landed last Sunday out of Eureka. Eric was fishing just north of the stacks in 190 feet of water with a flasher and sardine when the big fish hit.
Photo courtesy of Mike Earhart

There were a few salmon caught out of Eureka over the weekend, but no big numbers were reported. However, the fish that were caught were of quality size — in the 20 to 30 lb class.

Weekend Marine forecast

It appears the calm waters will give way this weekend as the swells are predicted to build on Thursday and gather steam through Saturday, then start to taper off on Sunday. Friday and Saturday we’re looking at swells NW six ft and WSW 1 ft, with wind waves one to two ft. Sunday is calling for swells four to five ft with wind waves one to two ft. The good news is the wind will be light, nothing greater than 10 knots is forecasted. For up-to-date weather forecasts, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/. You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.

CURE ROE LIKE THE PROS:

With the fall coastal river salmon season right around the corner, I asked a few of our local fishing guides to share their favorite roe cures for salmon. Here’s what they had to say.

Alan Borges of Alan’s Guide Service

www.alansguideservice.com, (707) 496-9074

“I have a couple different methods that work for me. After the skeins are thoroughly cleaned, I’ll wrap them in paper towels and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. This is the most important step of the process. Then I’ll use either Pro Glow or Pro-Cure and follow the instructions. I’ll also experiment with different scents, with sardine being one of my favorites for salmon. The other cure I use is an equal amount of borax and sugar. You want to make sure and get the mixture in all the folds. I leave them in the cure for 24 hours or two days at the most. Once done, I’ll shake off the excess cure and they’re ready to fish. For salmon, I like the eggs to be a little on the rubbery side.”

Mike Coopman of Mike Coopman’s Guide Service

www.mikecoopmansguideservice.com, (707) 465-1367

“I use what I call the 3-2-1 cure — made up of salt, sugar and Borax. I’ll first butterfly the skeins and then add a light coat of salt.  Next I’ll sprinkle on some sugar and a good coating of Pro Glow red cure. Finally, I’ll add a good amount of Borax. I’ll put the skeins in large glass jars and let sit for two to three days, turning the jar upside down every 24 hours. After the third day, I’ll either dry or fish them depending on my schedule. To dry the eggs, I’ll drip-dry them on racks for 30-60 minutes, then wrap the skeins in paper towels and place in Ziploc bags and put in the fridge.”

Brice Dusi of Brice Dusi's Fishing Guide Service

www.bricedusi.com, (707) 496-8295

“Curing roe for salmon I almost always use a commercial cure, either Pro Glo or Pro-Cure. My main color is red but sometimes I’ll change it up. Salmon seem to like the sodium sulfite cures more and red has always been the go to color. I always make sure the eggs are clean and try to get as much of the blood out of the veins as possible. First I butterfly the skeins open and if they’re big, I’ll cut up in smaller sizes. I’ll shake on the enough cure to cover the skeins thoroughly. I’ll then put the skeins in a jar or Ziploc bag and when the eggs start juicing up from the cure (1 to 2 hours), I’ll shake them up to move them around in the juice. If you want a firmer egg, you can pour some of the juice out. They should be ready to fish in a day.”

Steve Huber of Steve Huber’s Guide Service

www.stevehuberguideservice.com, (530) 623-1918

“I’ve had really good success with Pro-Cure’s Last Supper Coastal /Tidewater Double-Red formula. I first butterfly the skeins and then add a good coating of the cure, making sure to get in all the folds of the eggs. I’ll then put them in glass jars for two to three days until the juice is re-absorbed. Next I’ll put the skeins in large-mouth jars and stick them in the freezer for 24 hours. At this point they are ready to fish as is, or you can dry them with straight or colored borax, depending on what color you’re after. If I’m not going to use the eggs right away, I’ll vacuum seal them in the jars and stick them in the fridge.”

Tony Sepulveda of Green Water Fishing Adventures

www.greenwaterguides.com, (907) 841-5420
Ninety percent of the time I’ll use one of the sodium sulfite based cures, either Pro Glow or Pro-Cure. I first butterfly open the skeins using a butter knife, then with the butter knife I push out all the excess blood from the blood line. I’ll then sprinkle the cure over the eggs making sure it gets in all the folds. I then leave them to sit in their juices for 30 minutes in either a bowl or a Ziploc bag. Next I’ll take them out and place them egg-side down on paper towels for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I’ll turn them over and let them dry until they’re tacky. This normally takes about four to six hours, depending on the temperature and humidity. Once dry, they are ready to fish.”

Mike Stratman of Redwood Coast Fishing

www.redwoodcoastfishing.com, (707) 476-9243

“After butterflying the skeins, I wrap the eggs in paper towels and leave them in the fridge overnight. This will remove most of the moisture. Next I’ll sprinkle on a 50-50 mixture of Borax and sugar, then I’ll mix in one of the commercial cures, Pro Glow, Pro-Cure, or Pautzke’s. Once I get a good coat on the eggs, I’ll put them in a gallon plastic container and put the lid on. I store the container in dark, cool spot, usually in the garage, until the juice is re-absorbed and the consistency is what I’m looking for.  At this point you can add scent to your eggs and they are ready to fish.”

Look for steelhead roe cures from these pros in next week’s “Fishing the North Coast”

The Oceans:

Eureka

Ocean conditions this weekend aren’t going to be quite as nice as the past few days, but should remain fishable according to Phil Pritting of Eureka’s Englund Marine. “The rockfish bite down at the Cape has been awesome this past week, with the weather finally allowing boats to make the trip. The halibut action slowed the last couple days and the fish are being taken in a little shallower water, 200-210 ft. The top bait is still the jumbo sardines, with the B2 Squid coming in a close second. There aren’t a lot of salmon being caught right now, but the fish that are coming in are big,” said Pritting. There’s been a pretty good halibut bite inside the bay according to John Corbett of Eureka’s Pro Sport Center. “I heard one of the top spots was between Indian and Woodley Islands. The channels in the North Bay were also productive last week. The redtail perch bite has been steady at the usual spots from Centerville Beach north to Gold Bluffs Beach. Guys are catching a nice grade of fish, especially around the river mouths,” Corbett added. Skipper Phil Glenn on the Shellback reported a red-hot rockfish bite last Friday and Monday at the Cape, with easy limits each trip. Glenn also reports the halibut bite has slowed out front, with one to two fish per trip. Skipper Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing took advantage of the flat ocean and spent quite a few days down south below the Cape where he was able to scratch out a few halibut along with full limits of quality rockfish, including Blacks, Coppers, Vermilions, and a few lings mixed in.

CrescentCity

The rock fishing is as good as it gets right now according to Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “Boats are scoring easy limits and the ling cod have shown up as well. We’ve also had six or seven Pacific Halibut caught off the big reef in 70-90 ft of water. A few boats made the run for albacore on Monday and Tuesday and found good action straight out 45 to 60 miles,” Hegnes added.

Shelter Cove:

Russ Thomas of Mario’s Marina in Shelter Cove reports the tuna boats found a pretty good bite out 30-40 miles on Tuesday. “Just about every boat came back with fish, with about a 10 fish average per boat. There are still a few salmon being caught, with a few 30 pounders weighed in last week,” Thomas added

The Rivers:

Lower Klamath

The action isn’t red-hot, but it’s getting better everyday, according to Alan’s Guide Service. “We’re seeing fish in just about every hole from the Glen to Blue Creek. I did hear of a few more salmon caught by boats at the mouth on Tuesday, so that’s a good sign. The moss is also starting to thin out, so that should really improve the catch-rate. Red and natural colored roe have been the baits of choice,” Borges added.

Trinity

Rick Frederick of Hawkins Bar Mini Mart reports there are still a few fish around from Burnt Ranch to Junction City, but not any big numbers. At this point we’re waiting for the fall fish to arrive and they just aren’t here yet,” Frederick added.

Questions, comments, tips, and photos can be emailed to kenny@fishingthenorthcoast.com


Fishing Reports

Great action in Shasta lakes, rivers, creeks
Jason Vallotton of Redding with a brilliantly-colored rainbow trout taken from the Sacramento River recently. Photo submitted by Jeff Goodwin’s Guide Service
By Jeff Goodwin
03/05/15 -- There is so much going on for anglers in our local waters, its hard to talk about all the opportunities in one report this week. With the Nor-Cal Sports, Boat, and RV Show happening at the Shasta District Fairgrounds...Full Story
Steelhead rivers continue to drop and clear
Six-year old Jackson Stratman of Eureka poses with his Eel River steelhead, which he hooked, fought, and landed all by himself on trip with his dad earlier this week. Photo courtesy of Mike Stratman/Redwood Coast Fishing
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
03/05/15 -- March can be a great time of the year for coastal steelhead anglers. The weather is great, the crowds have thinned, and there’s typically plenty of steelhead around to make for a fun day. This is certainly the case right now...Full Story
Tech. & Taimen: World’s largest salmon
Taimen are the world’s largest salmonids. Photo courtesy of FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
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Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
03/02/15 -- Year round trout action can be found on the Klamath River within the 20 or so miles of free flow within Oregon and California. While fishing below the flumes at the JC Boyle powerhouse, it can be difficult to know just when...Full Story
CV/Sac River salmon forecast hopeful 02/28/15 -- Although drought concerns still persist, the forecast for salmon off the California coast and salmon fishing in the Central Valley/Sacramento Rivers looks hopeful, according the Golden Gate Salmon Association...Full Story
Humbug to Horse Mountain: 1.3 million kings!
Chinook salmon caught and being held up by Larry Ellis, photo by Larry Ellis
On Oregon Waters by Larry Ellis
02/27/15 -- This year, at least 1,298,600 adult Chinook are expected to be finning their way through the ocean in the KMZ, otherwise known as the Klamath Management Zone, an area that spans from Humbug Mountain, Oregon to Horse...  Full Story
Shasta bankers catching bass By Gary Heffley
02/27/15 -- With the strong winds whipping Shasta Lake into a froth, many boat anglers are staying off the water. The action has been limited to mostly bank anglers with many finding success on both bass and trout...Full Story
Tackle innovator to be at Nor-Cal Sports Show 02/27/15 -- Radio show host, seminar speaker, television personality, outdoor writer, author, photographer, angler/hunter- Sep Hendrickson will make one appearance Saturday March 7th at 2:00p.m. at the Nor-Cal Boat, Sport, and RV...Full Story
Salmon ocean abundance: 1 million plus!
CDFW Environmental Scientist and Ocean Salmon Project team member James Phillips, holding a Chinook salmon. CDFW photo by Kristie Amtoft
02/27/15 -- At the annual salmon informational meeting held in Santa Rosa today, state and federal fishery scientists presented encouraging news for sport and commercial salmon anglers. Forecasts suggest there are 652,000 adult...Full Story
Klamath had healthy return of salmon
Chico resident Nick Hanna landed this nice Van Duzen steelhead Sunday while fly fishing the lower river. Photo courtesy of Evan Oetinger
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest 
02/26/15 -- So much for last year being a down year on the Klamath. Turns out the number of fall Klamath River adult kings returning to the river was much higher than originally predicted. According to the Pacific Fisheries Manage... Full Story
Pyramid Lahontan Derby is Mar. 14/15
 Sean Bottomley with 23 lb. 4 oz. 36-inch Lahontan Cutthroat trout taken at Pyramid Lake on Feb. 23. Photo courtesy of Valarie Taylor of Crosby Lodge
By Frank Galusha
02/26/15 -- If you haven’t caught a giant Pyramid Lake Lahontan Cutthroat, a good time is coming. Another derby will be held at the lake and hosted by Crosby Lodge during the weekend of March 14 and 15 – you won’t want to...Full Story
Some steelhead & salmon tags carry reward 02/26/15 -- Successful north coast steelhead and salmon anglers could catch a $10-50 reward for returning their fish tags this season. Of the more than 4,500 fish that were tagged, 3,000 are eligible for a cash reward...Full Story
Lake Berryessa bass fishing report
Jim and James with their prized catches from Lake Berryessa. Photo by Sid Silberberg
By Sid Silberberg
02/24/15 -- This past weekend (Friday and Saturday) were excellent but Sunday was very windy). Friday I took Jim and his son James out for the day. I went to the back of Monticello ski school the water was like glass but there was no...Full Story
Special low flow conditions in effect 02/23/15 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) informs anglers that sport fishing regulation changes have gone into effect for coastal streams in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties. On December 3...Full Story
Bass think it’s spring at Nor Cal lakes
Ron Gandolfi holding 6.6 spotted bass taken at Bullard’s Bar
Article and photo by Ron Gandolfi
02/22/15 -- Here it is at the end of February and it feels like spring. Our warm 65-78 degrees temps have made it seem like the real deal. What is happening in the lakes is the same thing, the bass are thinking it is spring...Full Story
CDFW invites comment on red ab plan By Frank Galusha
02/18/15 -- If you dive for or pick red abalone off the California coast, here is your chance to express yourself about the regulations on this fishery. California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking public input to “inform the...Full Story
Hope for Snake River sockeye
Snake River sockeye, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO 
02/17/15 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] When it comes to salmon success stories, few can match the Snake River sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka). Not long ago, the Snake River sockeye was considered one of the most...Full Story
Travis Lee takes 1st at Pyramid Derby
The end of the rock jetty south of the Pyramid Lake Marina. Photo by Frank Galusha
Article and photos by Frank Galusha except as noted
02/16/15 -- Travis Lee of Sparks took first place in the Presidents’ Day Derby concluded this afternoon at world-famous Pyramid Lake with a 20 lb. 8.8 oz., 35-inch Lahontan cutthroat trout. Lee had the choice of a 14-foot...Full Story
First free Kid’s Fishing Day is April 4 By Gary Heffley
02/14/15 -- Anderson River Park in Anderson Ca. will host a free Kid’s Fishing Day on April 4, 2015 sponsored by the California Fish and Wildlife Department along with many local sponsors. The CFWD will have the park’s ponds stocked...Full Story
Mt. Shasta free kids fishing days set
2 men with thier daughters on Free Fishing Day at Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery, photo by Gary Heffley
By, Gary Heffley
02/14/15 -- Three of my favorite days of the year are spent at the Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery volunteering at the California Department of Wildlife’s Free Kids Fishing Days. Monty Currier of the CDFW has announced that the free...Full Story
CDFW wins lawsuit defending hatcheries 02/12/15 -- California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was victorious in the Third District Court of Appeal yesterday when the court upheld the agency’s statewide Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on its hatchery...Full Story
Junior fly tying classes planned 02/11/15 -- If you are age 10 through 17, and would like learning how to tie your own flies, you can attend a fly tying class that begins Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 6:30-8:00 p.m. The class is being put on by Shasta Trinity Fly Fishers... Full Story
Hatchery History in California
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
02/10/15 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] The year is 1871. California has been a state for just over 20 years and the country is mired in reconstruction following the end of the Civil War just six years earlier. Both the telephone... Full Story
Blake Jones Trout Derby is Mar. 14 02/06/15 -- The Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau is already preparing for the very popular Blake Jones Trout Derby. They are encouraging everyone to save the date….Saturday, March 14th. Since 1968, the Blake Jones Trout... Full Story
NMFS preseason planning for salmon starts 01/29/31 -- [Federal Register Notice] The Pacific Fishery Management Council has announced its annual preseason management process for the 2015 ocean salmon fisheries. NOAA Fisheries has published a notice in the Federal...Full Story
Release of 600K winter Chinook may save run 01/27/15 -- An increased number of hatchery-reared juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon produced from adults that were collected as a precautionary measure to offset anticipated in-river drought related mortality will likely be released in... Full Story
Future Pro Tour kicks off March 21st! By Vince Harris
01/07/15 -- The Coors Light Future Pro Tour will kick-off its 2015 season in grand fashion as the road to the Coors Light –Silver Bullet Angler of Year , Navionics Cup, and 2015 FPT Classic titles, begins anew at lakes known...Full Story
CV salmon regs changes expected 01/03/15 -- The CA Fish and Game commission issued a notice today advising stakeholders to expect changes in the bag and possession limits for Chinook salmon taken the American, Feather, and Sacramento rivers. The objective will...Full Story
Local lakes on CTT schedule
Keith Bryan with the fish that sealed the win and new world record at Melones
By Jason Haley
01/03/15 -- California Tournament Trail (CTT), the self-proclaimed Working Man’s Tournament Circuit, opened its doors in January 2014 at Lake Oroville and wrapped-up a successful inaugural season at Clear Lake in June... Full Story
Ocean climate revealed in tree rings
Large standing trees in a green pasture, photo by FISHBIO
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
12/23/14 -- Scientists have tried many approaches to unravel the complex puzzle of past ocean climates. Now, a recent study in the journal Science uses an unlikely source to put the pieces together: tree rings. The study's authors found... Full Story
'Get paid to fish' derby returns to Topaz
Topaz Lodge 2015 Trout Fishing Derby
By Mike Mogler
12/13/14 -- Dave Rossman, manager of Topaz Lake Store, reports the annual “get paid for fishing derby” starts as usual on January 1, 2015, New Year's Day, and will end on April 12, 2015 with a fantastic drawing... Full Story
Bottomfish anglers get knuckles rapped
pacific Halibut
Tom Marking GAP Sport Representative
11/20/14 -- We North Coast rockfish anglers are a victim of our own success! 2014 has been an eventful year for many reasons, but there are definitely winners and losers on the horizon. In a nutshell, halibut is a win/lose... Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
By Jim Broshears
11/10/14 -- This trip was to be the final chapter in the saga that began three years ago but is actually over 20 years in the making. As Bruce, Tuck and I journeyed back to the Middle Fork of the Feather River we made...Full Story
Climbing Terms for the Fisherman
Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
10/14/14 -- For those of us who prefer to fish the rugged and remote streams and rivers for the elusive wild trout, rock climbing is a skill that is required to reach the special places where catching the big one is a “sure thing.” The skills...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek. MyOutdoorBuddy.com
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers, myoutdoorbuddy.com
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
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First Light
Boats in the harbor alight at night with a soft wake from a departing boat
Article by Matt Goldsworthy
03/04/14 -- Reprinted with permission of HASA (Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers) – Light is one of the most important factors to consider when fishing deep water. Over the years while fishing for Pacific halibut, we have always... Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story
Fishing with Phideaux
By Phil “Flip” Akers
01/26/14 -- Meet Phideaux, a 110-pound neurotic chocolate Lab. His name is pronounced “Fido” but it is spelled “Phideaux” because he is a Cajun dog. Anyway, last summer Phideaux took his human (that’s me) on a trout hunt up into...Full Story
A primer on fishing Lake Shasta By Gary Heffley
01/01/12 -- Shasta Lake draws more visitors to Shasta County than any other single attraction. While it is often a challenge to fish, it is more likely to produce stringers of fat trout or spotted bass. Trout to four and five pounds are caught here routinely...Full Story
Lake Oroville; 'tis the season By Chuck Giles
01/11/12 – Lake Oroville is probably one of the best lakes for sheer numbers of Spotted Bass in Northern California. This is not just on a seasonal basis, but year round. To start, I have a list of baits that produce decent results... Full Story

 

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